Margherita, HL Exhibition
It gives me particular pleasure to showcase Margherita's work here. She was a student of my dear friend and estimed colleague Nicola Shears, and she came to my summer IB art course at la Vigna Art Studios 2 summers in a row. It was during the first summer there that she began an investigation into plant roots that developed into her focus for the entire course.
Exploring her roots
It all started with a humble pencil drawing of roots dug up from the studio garden, which Maggie further elaborated into lino prints and embossings. Back at school, with thoughtful guidance from her teacher, she went on to explore Roots in a wider more conceptual sense, looking at family trees, and more specifically, her own ancestry and roots as set forth in the first two paragraphs of her CR:
The overarching theme of my work is roots. I am intrigued by the natural world and the complexity, intricacy of its forms. However, it was not until I started creating my own artwork that I also explored the dual significance of the word “root”, as it also branches into the concept of one’s ancestry and relatives. This has led me into a deeper journey of discovering my family.
My work aims to capture the uniqueness of natural forms, inviting the viewer to consider even arguably less aesthetically beautiful elements of nature such as roots, under a different light. Meanwhile, the work I have exhibited also unfolds into an almost obsessive research into my ancestry and family.
she goes on to discuss the various media and techniques she used and their particular relevance to her theme
In order to lay the foundations of my work, I produced observational studies in graphite of roots, exploring their literal significance. Patrick van Caeckenbergh’s series “Drawings of trees” was influential for his careful studies of organic forms. I experimented with a range of medium and techniques, including paint made with soil and glue, to further highlight the texture of my subject matter. Drawing and printing have been vital, including drypoint, transfer and embossing while photography, video, and installation have proven to be essential processes throughout. I have made my own paper, stitched and built with wood, collected items and employed text, such as my family’s poetry.
Informed by artists and by her research in the Comparative Study
The artists that Margherita looked at in her Comparative Study (see Margherita CS HL ): Patrick van Caeckenbergh, Ricardo Brey and Marc Dion are all deeply connected to her own investigations and helped her to develop the characteristics of order evident in her semi-scientific presentation.
Herman de Vries was deeply inspirational in my journey, especially for his use of actual organic material such as soil, flowers and moss. By bluntly displaying natural findings as they are, I aim to ‘peel’ off any exteriority, and this is symbolically my way of making sense of nature. Similarly, it is my systematic way of understanding my roots. I ascribe further significance to the raw materials that I have used because they have been collected from the glasshouse of my country house in Tuscany, where my family has lived for generations. In particular, the greenhouse, which can be seen in my video, is a place where new roots are formed and simultaneously, where old plants are kept alive.
This introduces another crucial theme of my work: order. Dion and Hirst’s work contributed to the formation of this characteristic. This is of great importance because it shapes the way I exhibit all of my work, how I conceive space and composition – or even mediums. For instance, I have used test tubes, labelling and glass cases to explore an idea of clinical order, taken further with my representation of DNA and fingerprinting and by symbolically cataloguing my family tree.
This very well conceived and thoughtfully curated exhibition received a 7. Brava Maggie!
Coming soon in the gallery pages: Margherita's other work in the Process Portfolio and Margherita CS HL all of which support and inform each other, this is what we all dream of right?
Enjoy this selection of Margherita's work. There were also three video pieces in her exhibition and a glass display cabinet of objects which I have yet to add. View as a slideshow and then click on each image to see thumbnail with exhibition text.